As predicted the blogging has dropped off quite precipitously. I still seem to be functioning on a reduced amount of sleep (although Fliss is taking the brunt of the sleep interruption by far). However the evenings are both shorter and much more structured. Eating is slowly moving from a task best accomplished at speed as we alternate baby holding/entertaining duties with each other to one where Ursula is happy to sit in a bouncer/bumbo and watch us shovel food in our faces. We have started getting into the bathing/sleeping routine which currently puts us all to bed at roughly the same time.
However it's still very rewarding. I didn't think I'd get quite so gooey inside when Ursula started smiling at me. Although she's simulated smiles for a while it's mostly been a prelude to some sort of gas incident. She is now firmly into social smiling territory and every time she does it it's like a gift to salve the troubled soul that your at least doing something right. In the time that this post has been brewing (I started it a couple of weeks ago) we have even moved on to giggles and laughs. It's certainly noticeable from close up how fast they start developing their personalities as they move from needing food/sleep/cleanliness to discovery and play.
We have managed to leave the house for extended periods and spent a lovely weekend in snowy Yorkshire on the annual walking holiday with friends from Fliss' time at university. It was particularly fun because there was a spike of new parents with their kids (along with a couple of old hands) along with plenty of helpful hands willing to hold babies when parents needed to do something else. I found is particularly helpful chatting to people a few months/years ahead of us in the parenting game and be reassured about what we are doing. My stated parenting style is to exude a air of calm confidence while paddling like mad under the water to figure out what to do next.
Fliss' mum was very kind to come over and spend the night giving us a chance for a meal at one of our favourite Italian restaurants with just the two of us. It was nice to get a few hours to ourselves to remind us of what life used to be like. However for all the work and disruption that a new family member causes we are happy with our new life and only occasionally think wistfully of our former freedoms. It does also make those periods of freedom when they do happen taste all the sweeter.
In other news I have also been working quite hard at my day job and have recently been promoted to Principle Software Engineer. I'm now responsible for all the software engineers in the company as well as all the software deliver-ables. I'm not quite a drop-in for the old Head of Software as I'm sharing some of the management type responsibilities with the Head of Engineering as I'm quite keen to keep my hand as a developer. 2012 is certainly shaping up to be a busy and rewarding year.